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My Dishes Saga

By Kay on Fri, Mar 28, 2008

General, Memoirs, PreSchoolers

For my birthday, back in January, my parents gave me a large bill of currency and gave me the strict instruction to use it on myself.  Not my children.  Not the bills.  (What does this say about me that they felt the need to give this instruction?  Never mind – I think I know.  I think we ALL know.)

The funny thing is that I had just been thinking the day before about how tired I was of my everyday dinnerware and how I’d LOVE to replace it if I had the money.  I’ve had my same plates, bowls and teacups since Shawn and I got married in 1995 (you do the math) and even when I got them, they weren’t what I would have called my ‘perfect’ set of dishes.  Don’t get me wrong – they were beautiful and they were great quality Mikasa plates, but what I really would have gotten if given the opportunity would have been handmade pottery.  That’s just my own personal style.

Anyways, I had just seen the coolest sets of dishes at Target in their Global Bazaar section and had been drooling over them when the large bill made it’s way into my hands.  Divine Providence. 🙂

I finally got a morning free where I could leave the kids at home and go shopping by myself.  While I was getting ready to go, I decided that maybe I should take Kate with me since we hadn’t had much quality time together lately.  to be honest, I really didn’t want to, but felt guilty enough to decide it was what I should do.  So, after extra time lost for her to find the right color flip flops to match her outfit, we were finally off to Target to spend my money.

We got there and I decided to stroll casually through the store to take full advantage of the ‘time off’ from the other two kiddos.  We meandered our way through ladies’ fashions, spent some time drooling over new purses and sunglasses and even tried on fun shoes.  Finally, I was ready to move along to my ultimate destination.  But, Kate wasn’t ready to move.  She was still trying on every pair of shoes with pink on them.  (Do you know how many shoes have pink on them??  OMG!)  Then, she couldn’t quite understand why we weren’t buying her any of said shoes with pink on them.  I calmly and gently explained that we weren’t here to buy shoes, we were just enjoying looking.  She started to get quite upset that the favorite pair would not be going home with us immediately – and she was definitely not satisfied with the thought that these would still be here for us the next time we came to buy shoes.

I finally looked at her and quoted a phrase that we use often when we’re shopping for other people’s birthdays.  “Today is not about you.”  When I asked her who today was about, she sheepishly looked up at me and said, “You, mommy.”  “That’s right, honey.  We’re here to buy mommy’s plates that Grammie and GrandDad gave her money for.”  That seemed to appease her enough to get her out of the shoes department, but I made sure to RACE past the toy aisles in order not to tempt fate any further.

We finally got to the Global Bazaar section where the beautiful plates were waiting for me to pick them up and take them to their new home.  As I gazed at all the gorgeous dishes in front of me, making a final decision on the chosen ones to be purchased, I decided to engage Kate in my fun.  I asked her, “Which ones do you like?”

She pointed to a set at the top of the display and said, “Mommy, I think you should get the light blue ones right there!”  I said, “Well, those ARE pretty aren’t they?  But, I think that Mommy wants to get the dark blue ones.  Aren’t they pretty, too?”

“No, Mommy!  You have to get the LIGHT blue ones!”

“Honey, I’m glad that you like those and they are very pretty, but I think I’ve already decided on the dark blue ones to spend MY birthday money on.”

“Mommy!” sniffle, sniffle “You’re hurting my feelings!”

After calming her down and assuring her that I wasn’t trying to hurt her feelings, and re-directing her to look at the pretty pillows behind us, I went to grab the first box of dishes to put in my basket.

“No, Mommy! You can’t get those!  You’re hurting my feelings!” (Insert increased sniffles leading to outright sobbing.)

(At this point another mother passed by and said, “It doesn’t get any better when they’re older either.”  Great, lady!  Just what I needed to hear right now in the middle of my FOUR year old’s meltdown.)

Commence internal debate…  

Am I being a cruel mother?  I mean, she obviously has a strong opinion about this.  Maybe I should get the light blue ones.  

No! This isn’t about her.  My parents gave me the money to spend on something I wanted, not Kate…

But, maybe I should buy the ones she likes. Then every time we eat off of them she would get such joy out of it…

Yeah, but then I would just be reminded of the plates I didn’t get and be more sad.

This went on for a few more minutes while Kate was busy melting down even further and making more of a spectacle. All the while I’m trying to decide how many dinner plates and soup bowls I can get before my money runs out and still debate with myself about whether or not to even buy them in the first place.

Finally, I realize that I’m actually on the verge of tears. And that’s when I decided that this wasn’t happening today. I slowly started putting the plates that were in my cart back on the shelf. Kate’s eyes got really wide as she asked me quietly, “Mommy, what are you doing?”

I calmly told her, “I’m putting these dishes back up. I’m upset right now. You’re upset right now. This is supposed to be a fun and happy thing to be spending my birthday money and it’s not. So, I’m putting these up for now and I’ll come back another time to get them when I’m feeling better.”

She finally settled down as it dawned on her what was happening. She was almost completely silent the entire way out of the store and all the way home. The only thing she said to me was right before we got home when she asked, “Mommy, do you still want to be my mommy?”

Oh, that was a low blow if I ever felt one. How do people who are so little make my heart ache so much? All I could do was choke back tears as I reassured her of my love for her – no matter what.

But, let’s just say that I won’t be taking Kate with me when I go to actually purchase my plates next time. Just makes common sense to me. 😛

Written by Kay Hesketh - Visit Website

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. MIMI Says:

    Yeah, some of the pain in having children is described in your
    shopping adventure. I have had money gifts given to my with
    the same instruction that your Mom & Dad gave to you.
    You came to the safest conclusion in your last paragraph. You
    should go alone (or with a girlfriend).
    Remember that all of your experiences are opportunities that
    contribute to your success. Look at how an awesome story resulted from your experience. Maybe this is the beginning of a cool book.

  2. Karen Says:

    Oh, my ! This is sooo true! I am glad to have learned your lesson with your experience and when I get money from my parents with that marked on it(too bad they don’t read this blog!!) then I will know to not take anyone!!! My friends probably wouldn’t share my opinion either they would cry too! HAHA!

  3. Shannon Says:

    Oh my goodness! You are such a good and wise mommy to calmly put the plates back until you can make a clear decision. That was a very mature move and speaks volumes about your priorities about material things and your relationship with your daughter–even though I know you really wanted them and were so looking forward to getting them that day.

    Next time you go to Target with the little ones, you might want to try putting them all in a cart–which they must stay in the entire time, period. And then immediately detour to the icee stand and get them each their very own icee. You know I try to be careful with my children’s sugar intake, but the Target icee is SO worth it. They will be in absolute bliss and gloriously occupied for like 20-25 minutes. It is awesome! Of course, if you dilly-dally in the store longer than 30 minutes or so, the sugar starts kicking in, and it’s not so pretty. And if they fuss at all or whine to get out of the cart…no icee next time. Oh my goodness, for a shopping mommy, those ice crystals melt into liquid gold!

    Lots of love!
    Shannon

    P.S. Can’t wait to see the new plates!

  4. Kay Says:

    Mimi-
    As always, thank you for your encouragement!

    Karen-
    I promise not to cry if you invite ME along. 🙂

    Shannon-
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Target Icee idea. I’m using it the next time I go there for sure! You are a genius!! 🙂

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